Week 7: New Year, Fresh Start!
Starting 27th December
New year, new me! That age old tradition of ‘the resolution’ is upon us once again as we vaguely recall what we tried to do more of, do less of or cut out altogether from last January! Our resolutions usually focus on ditching bad habits as we plan to get fit, eat more healthily, lose weight, save money or start to do something new such as volunteering for a cause we care about, learning a new skill or making new friends.
Whether you already have lots of ideas or are fed up of making the same resolutions each year – we’ve got a few thoughts about things that are quite easy to do, have little cost attached or are free and can start your year off with small wins! Considering that we tend to give up on our waist-line pretty early on, why not concentrate on your waste-line this year instead!
What could you resolve to have a fresh start for in 2014? Here are a few tips that could help and save your pennies too…
Watch your waste-line
- Sign up to the Rubbish Diet – challenge yourself to slim your bin in January and you may just continue throughout the year!
- Start taking a re-usable bag with you everywhere you go and say no to plastic bags in all shops.
- Try to re-use things instead of putting them in the bin. Check out our reduce re-use and recycling guides which includes cardboard, envelopes and toys/games.
- Make a shopping list every time you shop and try to stick to it!
- Use up your leftovers instead of throwing them away
- Keep an eye on what you throw away – once a month, once every 3 months or all the time. Our week 1 webpage gives tips about going for a week without buying anything (or as little as possible).
- Buy re-usable nappies for your baby or as a present for a new parent. Check out when our next Nappy Natter is happening in your local area.
- Buy or subscribe to the electronic version of your favourite newspaper or magazine
- Order a new recycling box or bin from your local council so you can easily recycle from home.
Try something completely new
- Become a Love Food Hate Waste volunteer.
- Encourage others to reduce and re-use.
Eat More Healthily
According to the Love Food Hate Waste national campaign, we throw away 13.5 billion ‘5 a day’ portions every year in the UK! To minimise any potential food waste, save money and eat more of what you buy, why not create a weekly meal planner ( 7 day meal planner (1846 downloads) ). When planning your meals in advance, you’re more likely to choose the healthier option (if you so desire) and with a shopping list you’ll minimising any spur of the moment purchases that generally tend to be a less healthy option. In any case, this can also work in your favour if one of your New Year resolutions is to learn a new skill like cooking!
Learn a new skill and save money!
- Pick up some cookery know-how – enrol on a course or spend some time browsing the Love Food Hate Waste website.
- Learn how to use a sewing machine or just to sew on a button. Sewing skills can help you customise clothes, make repairs or upcycle.
- Find out how to sell items on Ebay.
- Learn a musical instrument – instead of buying a new one you could hire one or get one second hand.
- Volunteering opens you up to new skills and experiences and there are lots of organisations that are always looking for new people that have some free time – check out what local organisations or charities are near you.
Something new (or good as new)
How long could you go without buying something that’s brand new? Challenge yourself to have one week a month when you don’t buy anything brand new – instead why not eat from your freezer or swap/borrow/buy from second-hand or charity shops. Make it a different challenge by seeing how long you can go without buying a brand new item for the house or for yourself.
- Try to only buy new items that you absolutely love, if you’re not sure you love it you’re more likely to get rid of it or hide it in a cupboard and not use it
- Before buying new, always look first to see if you could get the item second hand.
- Can it be repaired? There are some things that can be repaired for less than the cost of a new one, investigate before heading to the shops for something brand new.
- If you’re undertaking a DIY project see if you can borrow or hire the tools you need – try Ecomodo or Streetbank.
- Purchase second hand furniture for the new house or flat you’re going to move into this year.
- When you buy presents get two – one that’s re-used and one new one (if you feel you should) then give it without much packaging.
- Only buy presents that have no packaging or have recycled content, or you could give experiences rather than presents this year
Make new friends
- Organise a swish or give and take event where people can swap things they no longer want. It’s a great way to meet neighbours or other like-minded local people. If you would like help with this, get in touch with us!
- Volunteer for a local organisation.
- Take part in a course (see learn a new skill for a few ideas).
This resolution is the ‘godfather’ of new year resolutions but getting fit doesn’t have to be as expensive as a full gym membership. You can…
- Rent a fitness DVD from a shop or your local library instead of buying one, this gives you the chance to try out lots of different ones and you can return it if you don’t like it.
- Buy a second hand fitness DVD from a local charity shop or swap/borrow one from friends, family, Ecomodo or Streetbank
- Get fitness equipment from Freecyle or Freegle for free and get rid of items you don’t use at the same time
- Use your bicycle more – you bought it so you might as well use it!
- Walk/run around your local area as a great, free way to get fit. If you need more inspiration, why not look for a local running/walking club that caters for all abilities – whether you’re a hare or a tortoise!
Something to do this week
As it’s almost 2014, the list of suggestions for what you can do this week has a ‘do something different and new’ theme…
1. Make a resolution to throw away less and re-use more
Whether you make one, two or more resolutions for 2014 include one that you can do really easily and at the same time could have a big impact by reducing how much ends up in your household bin or how much brand new stuff ends up in your home.
2. For the first week of 2014 don’t buy lunch
What’s the point buying lunch (more food) when you’ve got loads at home leftover from Christmas festivities and might have to throw some of it away because you don’t have time to eat it?
3. Have a de-clutter and give items for re-use
We all have something in a drawer, cupboard, shed or garage that we don’t use or want and is taking up space. Whether you’re at home for the holidays, determined to make a start on your resolution or just want to get rid of the clutter to fit in your new presents take some time to have a sort out. Don’t throw these items away though, if they are still in good condition and can be used by others you could give them to a charity shop, list them on freecycle or freegle, or give them to a friend or family member.
4. Find out where your local charity and reuse shops are
Not only are the charity shops a place to find great bargains, they will help you get rid of your good quality unwanted items. You may already know the ones nearest to you but why not have a look further afield to see what else there is – furniture re-use charity shops are often tucked away and can be a hidden gem. Some of the local ones are listed on our website to help you find the ones nearest to you.
5. Share your waste resolutions!
Why not try a resolution to reduce your waste this year. If you’ve decided to try more reducing, reusing and recycling this year, share it with us on twitter (@WestLondonWaste) or on our facebook page and tell your friends too.